Additional sessions on Thursday included a study out of Poland concluding 1/3 of scoliosis patients are underweight with a 3-4% lower BMI than the non-scoliotic population.
On Friday, numerous interesting sessions focused on results from studies on exercise and bracing beginning with a couple out of Dr. Negrini’s clinic in Italy. Conclusions were conservative treatment is helpful as compared to expected outcomes for the general population of scoliosis patients. Another regarding brace compliance showed compliance of brace wear was better than expected.
A Turkish study regarding exercise and bracing was of particular interest and although results had limitations and cohorts were small and unequal the study underscores the importance of (scoliosis specific exercise/bracing) to halt progression. Using Schroth based exercise 39 patients were evaluated and patients chose which group to participate in. Results were as follows:
Exercise only (4) -Initial curves ≥ 20º ± 3º) End: 19º ± 1º, Bracing- alone (24) Curves ≥ 34º ± 8º End: 28º ± 10º, Exercise + brace = (11) Initial average 34º ± 9º End: 29º ± 10º
What this says to me is what I see daily: exercise alone, and exercise and bracing in the right mix are effective to halt progression.
Professor Keith Bagnall, now out of the Arab Emirates, is always a good speaker and gave a lecture on the study of the aetiology of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and the population of the Arab Emirates. I hope to cover this topic at some point in the future since it was fascinating and addresses questions I get frequently from patients.
I was glad to reinforce, and create, orthotist relationships with some who are likely to be the best scoliosis orthotists from around the country. A good orthotist is of primary importance and in my opinion, can make all the difference when bracing is involved.
After the gala dinner on Friday night we went into the early morning hours with with our old friend Dr. Weiss and another excellent German clinician, Elie Santos. We discussed the state of conservative scoliosis treatment and various treatment methods being used around the world. It’s a perspective that can not be obtained at a gathering of US only clinicians.
Saturday morning finished with some beneficial presentations and one in particular created many questions regarding the higher incidence of malocclusions in the scoliotic population vs. the general population.
Overall, it was a worthwhile experience providing much food for thought. At the final dinner Kathy and I had the opportunity to visit with old friends and make some new international contacts. The conference succeeded in triggering a many new ideas. It was a worthwhile trip.